Poker Home Games: Football

September 14, 2008

As we enter Week 2 of the football seasons, I’m sticking with the game as the theme for an article for the second week in a row.  Nothing like football season being back in full swing. 
So, no story this time.  Instead, a game I learned recently called Badminton. 
Just kidding, it’s called Football.
A departure from the traditional poker games, even those with wild cards, I found it quite enjoyable as a quick diversion here and there…a little strategy, maybe not the largest pots – and it does require that you have at least a second grade math education.  Nonetheless, it’s a decent game worth sharing.
1.) Every player gets 4 different sets of cards – all dealt face down.  You can either play with stacks of 2 cards or stacks of 3.  We played with 3, but it makes the game easier.  House preference, as usual.
Note: These stacks signify the four quarters of a football game.  The player with the highest score after all four quarters have been played is declared the winner.
2.) Player 1 flips their first stack, or “quarter” (period of play). Betting may take place at that point, or can be done only after everyone has played “the first quarter” (again, house preference).
How the game is scored: Points are given for the 2 (a safety), 3 (field goal), 6 (touchdown, no conversion), 7 and 8 (TD with 1 and 2 point conversion, respectively). (Each card gives the player the relevant number of points.) Variant can include using the Ace as a 1 point conversion but only can be scored in the same quarter as which the player gets a 6. (A six with two aces would be worth 7 points, not 8, as a touchdown can only be converted once.)
3.) Round of betting made after each quarter of play.
4.) Play is the same manner as poker, high score wins the pot, and players are allowed to fold if the betting gets too much for them.
OVERTIME:  If two teams tie for first, this will trigger a period of OT.  Players must buy (for the ante cost) an additional set of cards.  Rules are the same, whomever ends up with the highest score after this round is the winner.  Overtime periods can continue until a winner is declared.